Space missions are known for incredibly complicated supply chains — NASA, for example, worked with nearly 4,000 suppliers to get the Space Shuttle off the ground. At scale, these complexities can introduce challenges that lead to high costs and long lead times. NewSpace missions demand both reliability and cost effectiveness, which can only happen if we prioritize simplicity from R&D to production.
Phase Four simplifies the supply chain for space
Phase Four’s turn-key RF plasma propulsion system, Maxwell, is designed with simplicity in mind. No one appreciates this more than director of supply chain Laura Overly, who is tasked with streamlining Phase Four’s production processes as it transitions from research and development into mass production for small and large constellations.
Cut to 2018: Overly is excited for the Small Sat conference. She’s just joined Phase Four and is eager to build on its collaborative culture and keen to construct a simple supply chain from scratch.
Enter the RAM company
As Overly scours the booths at the conference, she runs across the RAM company’s valves. RAM has a deep legacy of quality across its space components, making contributions as early as 1979 to the Space Shuttle’s landing system. Through its partnership with Phase Four, RAM is expanding its foothold in NewSpace. Indeed, propulsion valves for space are one of RAM’s fastest growing segments.
“Ray and Melzie, RAM’s founders, and the RAM team solidified how straightforward and easy it would be to work with them. They understand that space is a team business, and their streamlined processes are one reason why our partnership is so strong,” Overly said. “Their willingness — and indeed enthusiasm — around supporting our growth is crucial to our success.”
Perhaps as important, RAM’s valves were also the highest pressure and smallest form factor of the space-rated valves on the market. These important features fit Phase Four’s needs when it came to manufacturing a simple, compact propulsion system.
“RAM is a legacy supplier to the space industry, and we’ve always held our relationships with innovative companies in the highest regard. There is something special about working with a company that is willing to challenge an industry. Phase Four is very much that type of customer,” added Brian McCann, RAM’s VP of business development.
At Phase Four, we value strong relationships with suppliers and believe they are key to our success. We take pride in building and maintaining these relationships. If you’re interested in becoming part of our network, please visit phasefour.io/suppliers.